Media Studies Section A

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Media Forms


Shots - medium / long / establishing / close up / extreme close up / OTS

Angles - low / high / birdseye

Movement - panning / tilting / hand held

Sound - digetic / non digetic, naration, SFX, volume / silence

Lighting - warm / hard or directional, low / key light Anchorage - persuasive techniques

Trpography - font style, colour, size, effects Colour - dominant colours, themes of colours

Address - mode of address, direct / indirectional Register - formal / informal, tone (conversational / serious)

Dress - stereotypes / counter stereotypes

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Media Institutions


institution - who produced the text?  (information on paper)

Brand values - values of the institution? ( quality, sophisticated, honesty, family orientated)

ownership - PSB / comercial? independent / conglomorate? Limit freedom in content?

power - power issues (gender, race, wealth, class), dominant ideology, power to audience?

  • Audience - mass / niche, target, primary / secondary
  • Convergence
  • UGC
  • Synergy
  • Audience classification
  • Mass and elite
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Media Representation

Who, How, Who, How, Who, What

Who is being represented - person, place or abstract concept

How are they being represented - media language / forms (SAM SLATCARD)

Who has created the representation - who is the institution an dits impact on the text

How does it fit with dominant ideology - reinforce / challenge stereotypes

Who benefits from the representation - society / brand, who maintains power and control

What has been left out - relationship with others, career, alternative view etc

  • Codes and conventions
  • Construction of...
  • Readings of...
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Media Audience


Type of audience - demographics, psychographics, primary, secondary, niche, segemented

Reception - readings, encoding, decoding, direct / indirect, register and tone, two step flow

Uses and gratification - how is the text used and how are the audience gratified? 

Power - power to audience - consume, interact, choose, control content, produce

Advertisers - relationship between institution, advertisers and audience (clear / hidden)

Cultivation and effects - moral panic, voilence, shock, awe, dominant ideology, hyperreality

  • Target audience
  • UGC - audience as text producers
  • Codes, icons, signs - used to fix meaning
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Signs, Signifiers and Icons



'If the text is analysed according to Barthes theory of signs, the audience could read the red cloak as a symbol of anger and conflict.'

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Connotation, Denotation, Encoding and Readings



'Using Hall's theory of readings, it seems that the preferred reading of the text is...Howerver, it could also be argued that an oppositional reading would see the More Four Sequence as highly sexist.'

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Equilibrium, Disequilibrium, New Equilibrium



'The narrative structure of the sequence shows the pattern of Todorov's disequilibrium and new equilibrium.'

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Binary Opoosition



(e.g. good vs evil, rich vs poor)

'Katie Price is clearly positioned as Andre's opposite, in terms of Levi Strauss' theory of character types.'

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Character Types



'the female stuck in her car is presented like one of Propp's character types, the princess or damsel needing rescue.'

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Enigma Code



'the trailer strongly suggests a Barthes narrative enigma leaving the audience wanting to solve the mystery of the murders.'

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Uses and Gratifications

Katz and Blumler


Audiences use media for a variety of purposes including Diversion (escapism), Personal Identity (values, judgment and self understanding), Surveillance (information), Personal Relationships (conversation and companionship).

'using the uses and gratifications theory, it could be argued thatthe audience use the brand for personal identity purpposes, reassuring themselves that they are wearing a quality and up market piece of clothing.'

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Uses and Gratificatons

Katz and Blumler


Audiences use media for a variety of purposes including Diversion (escapism), Personal Identity (values, judgment and self understanding), Surveillance (information), Personal Relationships (conversation and companionship).

'using the uses and gratifications theory, the audience are likely to use the channel, aimed at a younger audience, for diversion, as most programmes are entertainment focused.'

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Two-Step Flow


Opinion leaders spread the word about 'cool' 'worthwhile' media texts and people share information and the texts through web, social networking, print media etc.

'the trailer will encourage the two-step sharing of opinion, a speople upload and spread it through web and social networking because of the 'shock' factor associated with it.'

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Hyperdermic Needle


The media injects messages into the brain of teh viewer. 

'if we believed the hyperdermic needle theory, the teenage audience will all be behaving like the characters of Skins after watching each episode.'

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Moral Panic

Stanley Cohen


An escalating sense of anxiety over an isssue reported on through the mass media. E.g. dangers of social networking, virus' etc.

'the representationof the young protagonist in the text feeds into the existing moral panic about the behaviour of teenagers.'

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Audiences are active and individualise their understanding of media texts. Meaning does not exist until created by the audience and their reading could be preferred, oppositional or negotiated.

'in the text producers include typical icons of celebrity to create a preferred reading of aspiration when audiences relate to the main character.'

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Institutions, like society and the media are owned and controlled by the bourgeoisie ruling classes, the minority elite. The masses are dominated by this group who force ieal and ideologyupon us.

'a marxist reading of Eastenders could suggest that the audience are being told what is family life is like for the working classes in London - little aspiration, drugs, drink, murder and prostitution'

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The view that teh masses agree and accept the ideology of the controlling power group. We believe it is common sense and 'go along with it' to keep society working properly even though we recognize there are inequalities and injustices.

'however, a hegemonic view of the text would state that that we accept and participate in this reading, by keeping viewing figures high, believing in this dominant ideology of the working classes'

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Male Gaze



Media (film) is created with a white, heterosexual male viewer in mind and so women are always present to be 'gazed' at by men.

'Even programmes like the How to Look Good Naked coould be argued as having the male gaze at the forefront of their construction. The women still must look 'beautiful' to look good, according to the stereotypical rules of what is beauty.'

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Construsted through dress and appearance, behaviour, codes and conventions of construction and opposition. A shorthand for quick identification in TV, advertising. May develop over time.

'the character in the advert highlight Medhurst's theory of stereotypes allowing quick identification. We can quickly see the roles of mum,dad and teenage son established in the opening shot.'

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Not always false but contain elements of truth. They can sometimes be positive but this is usually because it is beneficial for the dominant power group.

'the represent of Andre in this sequence demonstrates Perkin's theory that not all stereotypes are false, and our belief of celebrities: that they do have fantastic lifestyles and only a few can achieve that status.'

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In the media saturated world a state of hyperreality exists, where our reality is based upon the reality presented to us through the media.

'Baudrillard's hyperreality theory would suggest that the view of teenagers as lout, yob and criminals has become so normal and 'real' for us that it is hard to know what a teenager 'is' or what a teenager wants from life.'

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Awesome, thanks :) x

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